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‘Debate will be a 3-on-1’: Lara Trump, right-wingers already claiming upcoming debates between Trump and Biden will be ‘rigged’

Trump himself, however, seems to have no qualms.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on May 16, 2024

Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump and other right-wingers are already accusing the upcoming presidential debates of being rigged against former President Donald Trump—hours after he agreed to them.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday challenged Trump to debate, saying “make my day pal, I’ll even do it twice.” Trump responded affirmatively on Truth Social, quipping that “Crooked Joe Biden is the WORST debater I have ever faced.”

There will be no live audience at either debate, and the pair’s arrangement cuts out the Commission on Presidential Debates. The first debate will be hosted by CNN on June 27 and the second by ABC News on Sept. 10.

Trump appears to have no hesitations about the prospect of debating Biden—writing in the same Truth Social post that “it’s time for a debate so that [Biden] can explain to the American People his highly destructive Open Border Policy, new and ridiculous EV Mandates, the allowance of Crushing Inflation, High Taxes, and his really WEAK Foreign Policy, which is allowing the World to ‘Catch on Fire.'”

He later added: “I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds – That’s only because he doesn’t get them.”

But even though Trump is ready for a fight, some of his supporters are already calling foul play.

Hours after Trump readily accepted the invites, Lara Trump—the RNC co-chair and his daughter-in-law—claimed the pair of debates will be “rigged so heavily in Joe Biden’s favor.”

Lara Trump’s criticism came in spite of her belief that she has “full confidence that Donald Trump will outperform [Biden]” as she discussed the debate arrangement with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Hannity argued that the media and Biden are trying to “collude” and said that it’s “bad enough he’s agreed to go on two liberal networks”—not mentioning Trump himself agreed to the parameters set by Biden and previously stated “we’ll do it any way you want, Joe.”

And it’s not just Lara Trump and Hannity who already think the scales are tipped against Trump.

After CNN announced that Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the June debate, “End Wokeness”—a prominent right-wing X account—quipped that the network just confirmed “the debate will be a 3-on-1.”

“Has CNN provided the Biden campaign team with the question, along with the answers, for the debate? Asking for a friend…” wrote another user.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) weighed in as well, echoing concerns the first debate will be tilted in Biden’s favor.

“With CNN moderating, is it even a debate? It seems like it should be called something else,” Lee said. “It’d be a far more accurate description of CNN’s intentions to call it something like: ‘Live From CNN: Let’s Make Biden Look Presidential While Turning Trump Into A Piñata.'”

Lee’s comments came in response to Vivek Ramaswamy’s take implying that it is suspicious Biden is “suddenly so willing to debate.”

“It could be because he’s desperate, or it could be because it’s a set-up,” Ramaswamy said. “Keep an eye on the details of how all this comes together. You don’t often see a sudden 180 like this unless there’s more to the story.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., for his part, similarly claimed Biden was rigging the debates—but that he was rigging them in partnership with Trump.

“Presidents Trump and Biden are colluding to lock America into a head-to-head match-up that 70% say they do not want,” Kennedy said on X. “They are trying to exclude me from their debate because they are afraid I would win. Keeping viable candidates off the debate stage undermines democracy.”

He later added that he will meet CNN‘s requirements to participate before the debate’s deadline. CNN requires candidates to appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold and receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters.

According to Kennedy’s campaign, he currently has access to state ballots totaling 187 electoral votes. He is polling at an average of 10.8% nationwide, though in June, he hit 16% in two polls from CNN and Quinnipiac.

“I look forward to holding Presidents Biden and Trump accountable for their records in Atlanta on June 27 to give Americans the debate they deserve,” Kennedy said.

But much like some of Trump’s allies, many commenters responding to Kennedy’s post are doubtful of the debate’s fairness.

“U didn’t get invited,” wrote one person. “The Elites have a plan already.”

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*First Published: May 16, 2024, 2:04 pm CDT